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thoracic back pain

baffledbbaffled Posts: 375
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Here is the situation: I am 42 year old female. I own a gardening business that requires ALOT of heavy labor on my back. In April of 2007 the pain all began. It feels like I have pole right thru my middle back to my sternum. I have had 3 MRI on the thoracic with nothing of significant to report. A cervical MRI showed osteo arthritis. I underwent diagnostic injections in my cervical and had Radiofrequency on both sides (the right 2 times) - but no pain relief...they performed the same onmy T345 - again no true pain relief. It hurts so bad to lean forward, to sit, to drive. The only real relief is to be lying flat on my back. The pain management physician has said it sounds ridicular type of pain, but there is nothing to denote on the mri. I have tingling in my left should blade that somes and goes, but nothing down the arm (since the radio frequency on my cervical). any input would be helpful.


  • Did you see an Orthopedic surgeon yet? You're Dr. should refer you. Not just for surgery but for a careplan for you. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I have been to 2 ortho docs. both times with nothing on an mri - they assume muscular - but I know muscle pain and this is not it
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  • I am sorry you are going through this but your pain sounds a lot like mine. Mine is in the thoracic area as well and I too have lead a life of heavy lifting and doing things a man probably should have been doing.

    My MRI of the thoracic showed only 2 mild bulging disc's that shouldn't be causeing my pain so they did one of my cervical spine and it showed some problems so they did an ESI of my cervical spine although I had no pain in my neck. Anyways it did nothing for my pain so now they are going to do an ESI of my thoracic area which is, Duh, where most of my pain is.

    I certainly do feel for you. I would like to have a diagnosis so I would know what is causing the pain as I am sure you do as well.

    This last Doctor (actually a nurse practicioner) told me I should be glad the my MRI was so clean and I guess maybe I should be but I would like some sort of explanation for my pain.

    Sorry baffled I sort of hijacked your thread.

    Have you had any procedures done on your back like an ESI, or are you on any medications for the pain? That's what I am dealing with now, I want them to send me to a Pain Management Doctor since no one feels comfortable prescribing pain medications when they can't see anything that is really wrong with me. It doesn't make the pain any less real, its there for certain.

    Take care and pm again if you like.

  • i keep getting notes that i have pm's but am not receiving any messages...if anyone has sent me a pm and i am not responding that is why - sorry.
  • Hi,

    I have significant pain in my thoracic spine area and mid back muscles. I have many back issues, lumbar surgeries twice.

    I am 45 years old. After little help from the chiropractor, I was sent to a physical therapist. What he found and has been helping successfully is that my vertebrae are actually turned pointing to the right. When he ran his fingers down my back I can easily tell when and where it is pointed to the right.

    He has me doing various exercises, then he pushes them back into place. Due to the fact they have been turned out of place so long, they continue to want to move back to the right, so the treatment will take some time. However, it is actually really working.

    Additionally, he really gets on me about keeping my posture. I have found that generally many times I get pain follows times where I may have sat through a lunch meeting and forgot my posture.

    I just wanted to share my findings, I have been through alot with my back, I hope I was able to help.
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  • During the summer of 2007 I did have one of the pt's - "push" my facets back - a very painful experience, but it did prove to relieve some of the pain, but it was always a matter of days before it would be painful again. Thank you for your input. It does sound alot of what I experience. Do you have any tingling into your shoulders? It only takes seconds after I lean forward to start the tingling and I do not have to be tilted forward very deep. If i stay there long enough the tingling increases and will go slightly to my right too.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,433
    Check your member account.. Scroll down to make sure that
    Allow private messages is checked
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • i do have the receive checked, i continue to receive msg in my email that there is a new prv msg but when i go there there is not....confused.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,433
    The only difference in your account vs my is in the section under Private messages:

    Receive e-mail for unread messages:

    I check NEVER
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • I have very similar problems and find it is posture related as well. A chiro told me my vertebra had rotated wrong from a fall i took. I also have an old c spine and low back injury and had recently tripped down some stairs throwing things further out of alignment. i found myself 'hunching' forward a lot with tight muscles and not opening my chest up.

    I bought a Posture S'port brace (there are several out there) that reminds me to keep my shoulders back and down. Other suggestions mentioned here I also follow: lay flat several times a day religiously, use heat on the tight muscles, tennis ball massages if tolerated, etc.

    The brace seems to be easing some of the thoracic symptoms simply by helping me remember NOT to hunch forward with the pain. Hopefully it will allow some healing in time.

    These braces are not expensive nor bulky. You can find them online if you do a search...sure feels good on me.

    Good luck to all in finding a little relief...I know every little bit helps and I'm amazed how small posture changes effect my pain levels.

    Happy Thanksgiving. :)
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